Bon Jovi

By Patipat Kittichokwattana

Last year, 2018, the 19 artists who had impact and influence on rock & roll were issued as nominees for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, for example Eurythmics, Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Radiohead, Rage Against Machine etc. They were casted by hundreds of historians, music industry insiders, previous inductees, and public international vote. And by consideration of music influence on other artists, length and depth of career, innovation and superiority in style and technique to name the final five inductees. Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone were announced for the 2018 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

One of the most popular rock band at my younger time was “Bon Jovi”. The band from New Jersey, USA, came with the kind of “glam metal” uniform of long curly hair, flashy cloths and accessories, skinny jeans or leather trousers, and high-top leather or athlete boot. They were the first rock band to be received highest attention from the audience on MTV. Especially their third album “Slippery When Wet”, 1986, which made Bon Jovi enjoy the fame worldwide. Historically, this album paved the way for other heavy metal bands to receive more glance on MTV.

The famous songs of this album include “You Give Love a Bad Name”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “Wanted Dead or Alive”, and “Never Say Goodbye”. Flashback to the first day watching music video, I recall Tico Torres sat behind his drums set, Alec John Such was a bassist, David Bryan was a keyboardist, Richie Sambora played wonderful riff guitar, and Jon Bon Jovi sang powerful voice in front of the stage.Their songs fill up with melodic licks, catchy hooks, and lyrics that related to everyday people’s lives. That was a magic spell to catch the ear of listeners in pop mainstream.

I stunned when I was first listening to “You Give Love a Bad Name” by its strong guitar riffs. The MV represented energetic rock band who completely controlled crazy feeling of the audiences in concert hall. Jon Bon Jovi run around the stage, grab and spin his microphone stand to fire up emotion. The heat is on high when it comes to the hook which all the audiences sing together out loud. Then, all instruments play unison, repeat chorus until fade out. That impressive unison was later found in several Thai rock band

“Livin’ on a Prayer”is the band’s signature song, someone says. Its catchy intro comes with bass riffs and talk box solo (a sound effect that apply speech sounds onto the sounds of the instrument). It easily moves up your heart beat to sync with the groove and can’t deny shaking your head along. Bassist firmly and repetitively plays a pattern of bass walk in intro and verse parts. Keyboardist fulfils the song by its function as a background. Simple guitar solo but perfect to the whole song. Similarly, this song contains a powerfulchorus to catch the ear of listeners.

“Never Say Goodbye” is a ballad tune. This song begins with sweet and melodic guitar intro which is the critical formula to be successful in this kind of music. Together with lyric that reminds the love of the younger. And the most important part is strong chorus that emphasize on impressive relationship between the lovers. Although this song composed with sweet and simple song structure, but it can never obstruct popularity among rockers. Frequently, this song has been used as a farewell song in graduation party.

Bon Jovi was one of the rock bands that continued to produce albums and perform concerts from the first day, though there were some members changed. Their musical style has been developed from glam metal to more mature hard rock sound, but it never loses its musical magnet. Several songs from Bon Jovi still are in my favorite song lists and I recommend you do so.

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Patipat Kittichokwattana is a PaddyNews writer